In November of 2012, now President-elect Donald Trump tweeted “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.”
In December of 2013, he then tweeted “ice storm rolls from Texas to Tennessee — I’m in Los Angeles and it’s freezing. Global warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax!”
During his campaign, Trump frequently called climate change a hoax, saying he would abandon the Paris Climate Agreement signed by President Obama along with almost 200 other countries.
The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, dealing with greenhouse gas emissions, mitigation, adaption and finance starting in the year 2020.
The Paris Agreement was a breakthrough after more than two decades of negotiations, aided by increased scientific consensus that man-made emissions drive heat waves, floods and rising sea levels.
Trump has already appointed Myron Ebell, a prominent climate change denier, to a key environmental post. There are also rumors that Trump is already looking to back out of the Paris Agreement, despite being in the midst of the transition process.
A group of scientists and environmentalists are launching a campaign in an effort to convince Trump that global warming is real before he becomes the president in January.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is also bringing leading scientists together to urge Trump to listen to the scientific evidence regarding climate change.
Karl Kreutz, a professor for the School of Earth and Climate Sciences at the University of Maine and the Climate Change Institute, thinks that at this point, it’s hard to say if addressing climate change will be a priority when President-elect Trump takes office.
“Certainly, the rhetoric from the presidential campaign is not encouraging with respect to progress that has been made in several climate-related areas during the Obama administration, including the Paris Agreement and the Clean Power Plan,” Kreutz explained. “There is plenty of vigilance needed on the part of citizens and the science community as policy plans and appointments are announced. My hope is that available evidence can convince Mr. Trump that continuing along a path of lowered carbon emissions is in our collective best interest.”
The Clean Power Plan was another policy aimed at combating global warming. It was first proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency in June 2014 under the administration of President Obama. This policy works to reduce carbon pollution from power plants, taking real action on climate change.
The United States is the second-leading emitter of greenhouse gases, behind China. Having the United States on board would be extraordinarily helpful to meeting the goal of keeping the future increase in global temperatures below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.